Springs ready for top challenge

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Friday, November 10, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

KIRKLAND – Randy Moss? Marvin Harrison? Isaac Bruce? Terrell Owens?

As far as Shawn Springs is concerned, those guys are competing for the tag of NFL’s second-best receiver. The Seattle Seahawks cornerback has no doubt who the best is, and he’ll get an up-close look at him Sunday.

When the Seahawks face the Jaguars in Jacksonville, Springs’ main focus will be on wide receiver Jimmy Smith.

“I think he’s the best receiver in the league, by far,” Springs said Thursday. “There’s probably only four or five receivers in the league that you have to double, and he’s one of them.”

Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Smith is only half the problem. Jacksonville’s other wideout, Keenan McCardell, ranks third in the AFC with 60 pass receptions – 11 more than Smith.

“This might be as talented and as deep a receiving corps as you’ll see in the league,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell said.

For Springs, it all starts with Smith. For most of Sunday’s game, Springs expects to be lined up against the Jaguars’ second-leading receiver.

So Springs will obviously need some double-team help, right?

“No, not me,” Springs said. “I can cover him. It’ll be tough, though. You’ve got to know where you’re at. If you can cover him one-on-one, you’re straight-up legit.

“The media hypes up this guy, that guy. But Jimmy’s for real. People give a lot of credit to Randy Moss for being a player, but Jimmy Smith is unreal.”

Springs has never faced Smith in a game, but said he gained an appreciation for his play during the week of the 1998 Pro Bowl, when both were members of the AFC squad.

“Jimmy Smith just has all the tools: fast, size, hands, works hard,” Springs said. “He has all the tools.”

  • Williams probable: Cornerback Willie Williams missed practice Friday for the third consecutive day and has been added to the team’s injury list with a neck stinger.

    Williams is listed as probable for Sunday’s game, meaning there is a 75 percent chance he will play. If Williams is unavailable, fourth-year veteran Chris Canty will start in his place.

    Coach Mike Holmgren called Williams’ availability “a gameday decision.”

    “He should be able to play,” Holmgren added. “But this season has been really surprising in those areas. I’m being cautious. I’d like him to be able to play, but there’s a chance he will not.”

  • Injury updates: Also on Seattle’s injury list are quarterback Brock Huard (concussion) and wide receiver Sean Dawkins (bruised right quadriceps), both of whom are listed as questionable.

    Dawkins practiced Friday, and looks as if he’ll be ready to play Sunday.

    Huard was held out of practice, and is expected to undergo some physical drills today for further evaluation. Jon Kitna will start at quarterback Sunday, and Huard isn’t expected to be available.

  • Linebacker signed: The Seahawks added linebacker Tim Terry to their active roster Friday, bringing them to the NFL’s limit of 53 players. Terry, a 26-year-old who spent last year with the Canadian Football League, had been on Seattle’s practice squad since Aug. 30.

    The addition of Terry gives the Seahawks three players who spent last season in the CFL, along with long snapper J.P. Darche and safety Maurice Kelly.

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